The Albany Institute of History & Art has teamed up with Google, announcing this morning a move that will make its collection instantly available to anyone, anywhere in the world.
Google Head of External Affairs for New York William Floyd welcomed the Albany Institute of History & Art as a partner with the Google Cultural Institute. "...which was established three years ago to help preserve and promote culture online. And it's through our dedicated team of Googlers, engineers who are arrayed across the world... Google is helping to build platforms and tools for cultural institutions like the Albany Institute and museums around the world so that they can tell more compelling stories about their very diverse cultural heritage and to make that accessible to the world and to those around the world."
Floyd explained that "the key goal of the Cultural Institute” is to provide high-quality access. "When you sign into the Cultural Institute, you get our own account. And if you want to learn more about a particular painter, you can just add that to your own collection and you can start curating your own art."
Congressman Paul Tonko said he was "jazzed" with excitement over Albany's inclusion in the 50-nation partnership. "It also allows us to express our sense of place... the destination that we are."
Tonko agrees with Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan in believing that the Google Cultural Institute will make Albany a magnet for heritage tourism. Sheehan said "People wanting to understand more about our country's heritage, about their heritage, and about the wonderful and amazing collection that is in this institute. It is a place that we should be proud of. Albany was a place where intellectuals came to share ideas, where new ideas were born. This was really a center of what became a great nation. And it's a very exciting day for Albany, it's something we can be very proud of. And I am so appreciative to Google to recognize what we have here and to allow us to tell our story to the world."
Lee is an exchange student at Albany High. He hails from China's Shandong Province. Impressed by Google, he sees their service as a better way to bridge the cultural gap. "Nowadays people use more technology, and it encourages people to use Google technology to search arts and history. Google provides a better way to search that, to study that!"
The Google street trolley was at the Albany Institute Monday, taking 360 degree images of selected galleries, which will allow online users to explore the museum's objects with a touch or a click. The website currently has more than 57,000 high-resolution images available.